Digital Products and Services

Digital Lifelines Scotland fund the development of digital products and services aimed at reducing the risk of harm for people who use drugs. Led by the Digital Health and Care Innovation Centre (DHI), Digital Lifelines Scotland supports the management, delivery and evaluation of digital technology projects.

Here4U Scotland

Aberdeen Alcohol and Drugs Action and University of Stirling ran a pilot testing the viability of using the Brave App developed in Canada to detect and respond to overdose with people who use drugs alone.

How the Brave App works:

  • The App is downloaded on to any smartphone and requires a mobile signal or Wi-Fi access.
  • A Rescue Plan is set-up by the user that details how, when, and who will be sent for help in the event of overdose.
  • Prior to using drug, connect to a supporter through the app.
  • The supporter asks for some basic details about the type of drugs being used and the Rescue Plan. They will stay on the line with the user until they feel safe.
  • If the user becomes unresponsive, the supporter will send help according to the instructions provided in the Rescue Plan.

The pilot ran until December 2023 and the evaluation reports can be found on the Digital Lifelines Scotland website.


By My Side

Simon Community Scotland (SCS), in partnership with tech consultancy AND Digital, have developed ‘By My Side.’ A digital app allowing easy access to evidence-based harm reduction support, advice and resources.


Designed ‘for women, by women’, the By My Side app has been co-developed with women supported by SCS, directly addressing the challenges they face in gaining access to the right information.

Initially focused on advice to prevent drug-related harm, the app is now home to wider resources such as mental health guidance, support for those affected by domestic or sexual violence, and information for managing sexual health.

Digital Lifelines Scotland is funding further development of By My Side until March 2025. This will expand the functionality and coverage of the app, and increase the content available including the RADAR: Rapid Action Drug Alerts and Response alerts.

Find out more and access the App at the Simon Community Scotland website:
By My Side - Simon Community Scotland (


On-Line Engagement (OLE)

The OLE project is exploring the use of the ‘Near Me' video consulting service to increase addiction services engagement and coverage for treatment of People Who Use Opioids (PWUO) in Scotland.

The project, led by the University of St Andrews, uses co-design methodology with People with Lived and/or Living Experience of dependence to opioids and their healthcare service providers.

By using the Near Me platform, the project aims to:

  1. Find evidence for the core elements of digital interventions that enhance the therapeutic relationship. In other words, finding out what works to enhance the therapeutic relationship through digital platforms.
  2. Develop a tool to measure the improvements that the introduction of those core elements of digital interventions bring to the therapeutic relationship.
  3. Propose potential improvements (or add-ons) to the Near Me platform to improve the therapeutic relationship and, consequently, engage more PWUO in treatment.
  4. Develop an implementation model and a validated clinical risk management framework to pilot a Telemedicine Delivered Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (TMOUD) will be published and will be ready for field study.

Digital Lifelines Scotland is funding the OLE project until March 2025.

Last Updated: 26 March 2024